The Week Nicole Came to Town 11/13/2022

I just realized this morning that it’s been a week since I posted about the “interesting” weather week we were anticipating last Sunday. If we’re friends on Facebook, you already know we had minimal damage to our house when Hurricane/Tropical Storm Nicole came to visit, but I’ll add a little more detail below.

We were still in Michigan when Category 4 Hurricane Ian came through Florida, and when we got home we saw first hand the damage to our beach dunes, our walkover, and to some of the houses in our neighbhorhood of Sunset Inlet. A drive down A1A confirmed there were many homes with tarps covering roof damage, and people were just beginning to start the task of hiring contractors to repair what Ian had destroyed. Even though Ian hit on the other side of Florida from us, we still got damage as it crossed the state as a tropical storm.

Unfortunately, the damage left by Ian only paved the way for Nicole to create a domino affect in Flagler, and especially south of us in Daytona Beach. Washed out dunes resulted in the collapse in many places near us of the A1A highway that runs along the Atlantic Ocean. In Daytona it resulted in several homes falling partially into the ocean and other homes and condo buildings being deemed unsafe for occupancy. I’m sure if you’ve followed the national news this week you’ve seen the remains of homes occupied for many years by families that built along the ocean as part of their retirement dream. It is incredibly sad to see these homes destroyed. In addition, many of the Flagler Beach communities that are built along canals connected to the Instracoastal suffered pretty severe flooding.

Sunset Inlet as it normally looks . . .
. . . and as it looked the morning after Nicole came ashore south of us (Thursday). With the addition of high tide and a full moon (which causes a “higher” hige tide), the water from the Intracoastal rose over the seawall in our inlet. It came about a foot into our backyard. All the boats are raised as high as their lifts allow, and you can see that the water is almost touching the bottom of the one boat in this pic.
This is a home beachside a little north of us.
We lost power around noon on Friday, and before the sun set Ted got out our camp lights, flashlights and larger lanterns. We opened the doors (the rain had stopped by then) and there was a great breeze blowing the sheers around. We could hear generators running in the neighborhood. We had decided to get through the night without firing ours up, thinking we’d hook it up the next morning. But shortly after I took this pic, the electricity came back on. Kudos to Florida Power & Light!
We’ve spent the weekend returning all the outdoor furniture back to the decks, cleaning up shingles (from neighbors’ homes) and palm fronds from our yard, and yesterday doing a thorough clean of green mildew off the railings and spiral staircase outside (can’t blame the mildew on Nicole – it’s just a natural occurance in Florida and a task we’ve been putting off). When Ian came through we lost some soffit and fascia (which had already been repaired), but Nicole only managed to blow one single shingle off our roof. Being the “short” house sitting in between two “tall” houses seems to protect us during these storms.
Today is the first day it’s felt like Fall since we’ve returned. It’s in the 60’s and cloudy, but the seawall is above water again and things are looking more normal. There is a tremendous amount of work to be done along our east coast, in addition to all the work left to be done on the west coast from Ian.

Choosing to live along the ocean is truly a dream come true decision, and we love everything it brings to our retirement years. But beach living definitely comes with its challenges.

I loved this post from a friend in the neighborhood the day before Nicole arrived!
Bodie, resting among some debris near our beach walkover.
And peace returns.

Mackinac Island – The Week in a Glance

The last sign of the ending of the 2022 season – the topiary horses (Peat and Moss) and carriage that normally reside in Grand Hotel’s tea garden on the way to the ferry. They will spend the winter downstate in a greenhouse. (Photo credit: JJ Shaffer)
The sun sinks behind the Mackinac Bridge (Photo Credit: Tom Chambers)
Downtown has become the site of numerous construction/renovation projects. Local and off-island workers will try to complete as many projects as possible before snow slows work down – or stops it completely. (Photo credit: JJ Shaffer)
The elves at Chambers Corner have been busy this week! (Photo Credit: JJ Shaffer)
A dray makes its way down Market Street. (Photo Credit: Tom Chambers)

I heard there was a smattering of snow on the island today, and I’m looking forward to some snow pictures if any of it stuck!

P.S. We had quite a few Mackinac Island friends at Disney World this week. In between breakfasts and lunches with Mickey, they got a full day of Nicole’s shenanigans also! I bet Disney worked enough magic that they didn’t even know she had arrived. That Mickey and Minnie can handle anything “when you wish upon a star. . . . . . “

God bless.

Interesting Weather Week Ahead 11/6/2022

Hi everyone! We’ve had a busy week in our corner of the world, and this coming week is looking rather interesting in the weather department. Yes, it’s November, but hurricane season lasts through this month, and right now there’s a pesky little “disturbance” in the tropics that is predicted to turn into either a sub-tropical or tropical depression and head toward the east coast of Florida Wednesday or Thursday. What our coastline along Flagler Beach, and points to the north and south of us, does not need is more heavy rain and strong winds to further erode our sand dunes and cause local flooding. So we’re watching the development of this storm closely.

The Week at a Glance – Flagler Beach

We celebrated Julie’s birthday this week at Turtle Shack. A great meal and happy times spent with Julie, Jordan, and Matt. We missed Matthew, who was away at college.
It’s good to be out walking at the beach again. There’s almost always a great breeze coming off the ocean, but I have to admit I’m ready for the temps to get out of the 80’s!
Pelicans cruising overhead . . .
. . . and a prop plane cruising low over the beach.
Even though we’re still several days out on the storm’s approach, the ocean is already feeling its first effects. As I mentioned earlier, we’ll be keeping an eye on this one.

The Week at a Glance – Mackinac Island

From JJ Shaffer:

An artist spends some time capturing the remnants of fall.
A beautiful capture of an empty and silent Main Street after the season is over.

From Tom Chambers:

Mackinac had a lot of wind from a storm on Saturday night – the gales of November have arrived! This very old lilac tree was uprooted on the east side of town.
Some last bits of color. Love seeing the Baby Grand cottage up there on the East Bluff.

One More from the Beach!

One of the things we love most about our little town of Beverly Beach is that we’re away from the crowds that ususally congregate around the Flagler Beach downtown area and pier. No matter what time of year, we are almost guaranteed that this section of beach will be uncrowded – and usually just plain deserted. Call us crazy – but we love that!

I’m working on what I hope will be an interesting story soon on a marine biology research project that is taking place right outside out back door! Have to gather a few more pics before I can publish that one, but just letting you know it’s coming in the next week or so (I hope)!

Have a great week – and God bless.

Blending Flagler Beach with Mackinac Island

Many years ago, when we were traveling between our condo on Mackinac and our house on Lake Blackshear in Georgia, I wrote two blogs. When I was writing the Lake Blackshear blog in the winter I’d always share pics from friends that are on Mackinac year-round, and that’s what I’m going to go back to doing now. I hope that by blending the two places where we spend our time, I’ll be able to keep ya’ll excited about the island and also share a little of what it’s like to winter in Florida.

Florida Days

Our “backdoor” view at sunset is usually stunning, but – just like most anywhere – it seems the closer to winter we get, the more spectacular the sunsets become.
Boats of all kinds are traveling from up north down to ports throughout Florida for the winter. The intracoastal is a busy highway this time of year!
Our Sunset Inlet resident tortoise! He crawls out to greet most everyone who walks by his/her burrow, which is next to the path leading to the beach walkover.
I had to share this. When we got home we realized we had forgotten to pick up a 2023 Mackinac Island calendar. I ordered one online from the Island Bookstore (which I thought was already closed), and when it came this week, the back of the envelope was “signed” by Mary Jane, the owner, and Jill and Tam, the best bookstore ambassadors ever! Thanks for the smiles, ladies!

November will be a busy month for us. It’s when we get all our annual doctors/dentists appointments taken care of and when Ted will start back volunteering at Fort Matanzas two days a week. He’s excited to be back “in the groove”. I desperately need to find somewhere to volunteer. May check out the little museum in Flagler Beach – I hear they are looking for volunteers.

Mackinac Island Days

I’m sharing pics and a video clip today from island friends JJ Shaffer, Tom Chambers, and Leanne Brodeur. When we left Mackinac in the middle of October I pretty much thought the colors had peaked, but I was oh so wrong! The leaves have still been showing off for the last two weeks, and they’re just now beginning to fade and float their way down to the trails and paths of the island. What a glorious fall it has been! Thanks to JJ, Tom and Leanne for sharing!

JJ Shaffer

Annually thousands of tulip bulbs are planted at Grand Hotel. Come spring this area will be dazzling!
Looking up Market Street
The trail up to Point Lookout. Can’t you just hear the crunch of those leaves!?

Tom Chambers

The fall display around the iconic front door of a downtown home.
What an amazing pic, Tom! They are painting the steeple at St. Anne’s. Trying my best to figure out where Tom was to get this shot!
This pic is one of my all-time favorites ever taken on the island, and Tom captured it beautifully. The driver is Trish Martin, owner of Bogan Lane Inn, and her passenger is Mayor Margaret Doud. Trish and Margaret are both true islanders and live there year-round. Margaret has served as Mayor of the island since April, 1975 – 47 years! What a treat to see these two hard-working ladies out enjoying a fall ride. Earl Grey, Trish’s much-loved horse, is pulling the buggy.

Leanne Brodeur

A short and happy clip of a buggy ride through the leaves. Leanne was riding shotgun, and Trish is driving Earl Grey. Sound on!

Back to the Beach!
We are still waiting for the November “coolness” to arrive, but for the next two weeks it looks like we’ll continue in the 75-80 degree range.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

God bless.